Route: Dollysods Circumnavigation

Submitted by Kimberly Monge Fera on Sun, 09/18/2022 - 09:14pm
Location
West Virginia, US
Distance
24.6 mi
Vertical Gain
3,214 ft
Description

The best of West Virginia! 

Dollysods is an incredibly magical place that will take you through gassy meadows, rocky plains, spruce and hardwood forests and sphagnum bogs all in one loop. You are guaranteed to get lost at least once and the terrain, although devoid of much elevation, is unforgiving and can be quite technical.  

You are guaranteed to have an adventure through this beautiful land. This route is a must do in the area and guaranteed to make you fall in love with West Virginia. 

Grab your running shoes and vest. Get in your car. Disconnect and let the mother nature sweep you away.

Comments

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Profile picture for user Erin Scheper

I was taking a look at this route and see it was submitted but the FKT details aren’t posted. I assume based on the other FKTs of the submitter that this was an unsupported effort but just wanted to clarify.

I emailed in a similar question and was told the activity data submitted for the FKT is not official, so whatever you submit will be the FKT.

Also, just FYI I have some notes in the FKT listing about some issues with the GPS track for this route:

  • On the north side of the park, the GPS track takes the wrong trail onto private property. It is clearly marked as private for a mountain hunting club. There is another trail (Raven Ridge) that runs parallel just inside the park boundary, and that should be used.
  • On the west side of the trail, the GPS track cuts east into the park on a side-trail instead of continuing on the Rocky Ridge trail, which runs along the edge of the park and has some great overlooks.
  • On the Big Stonecoal trail, the GPS track misses a turn and goes way off course. It starts as a little unofficial trail, then eventually bushwhacks back over to the Big Stonecoal trail. They advise not going off trail at Dolly Sods because it was used for artillery testing and there is a risk of unexploded ordnance off trail.
  • There are a lot of other places where the GPS track goes off trail and then has to double back.
  • The GPS track includes the section from the Bear Rocks trailhead to the actual loop within the park. This kind of makes sense if you start from Bear Rocks. But the road to Bear Rocks is closed all winter (it was still closed on April 14). So if you start from Red Creek, it feels like a bit of a random out-and-back, and it’s not so unique or scenic that it seems necessary. It seems to make more sense to have the official FKT route just be the loop itself, and then you can choose where to start.

Personally, I think it would be worth revising the GPS file.

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Profile picture for user Erin Scheper

Thanks! Yeah it is easy to get off trail in some of those spots especially the west side where you are boulder hopping. I agree that it seems that starting at Red Creek makes more sense than Bear Rocks to avoid the out and back. Hopefully I can get out there sometime this summer!